About Slotter Machine
The slotter, also known as a slotting machine, is a reciprocating machine tool just like a shaper, also classified as a vertical shaper. The machine works in the same way as the shaper, but the tool motions vertically rather than horizontally. It is a machine tool that removes material to create desired forms and is mainly used to create machined cylindrical and flat surfaces.
(Image Credit: Cast Iron Slotting Machine)
- Bed or Base:- Cast iron was used in its construction. It supports tables, columns, ram, and various driving mechanisms. The top of the bed has horizontal paths for the worktable to travel.
- Handwheels:- The table rotates using them, and they also enable longitudinal and cross traverse. The column serves as the vertical element and houses the driving mechanism, constructed of cast iron. The vertical front face of the column is precisely polished to provide paths for the ram to go up and down.
- Table:- The workpiece holder holds, and the user can adjust it longitudinally and crosswise. The user can turn the table around its axis.
- Ram:- Basically designed to move vertically up and down. It has a cutting tool at the bottom. It is comparable to a shaper’s ram, but it is more enormous and moves vertically, at a right angle to the worktable, rather than horizontally.
- Cross-slide:- Its motion is parallel to the column’s face. The cross-slide has a circular work table.
(Image Credit: pixabay)
Working of Slotter Machine
- The Slotter Machine operates similarly to the Shaper Machine. However, the primary distinction is that the Shaper machine works horizontally, while Slotter machines use vertically. The crank connects the ram to the gears. As the gear speed increases or reduces, the crank rotates and causes the ram to move up and down accordingly.
- The operator manually brings the ram close to the workpiece and adjusts the work table accordingly before clamping it.
- Once the power is on, the crank starts rotating, which moves the ram up and down. The cutting stroke occurs when the ram advances down, and there is no cut when the ram moves up or returns. If we need to cut at different places, we manually feed the work table, which then cuts as required.
Types of Slotter Machines
There are two types of Slotter machines, which are described below:-
1. Puncher Slotter Machine
- The puncher slotter machine is a powerful tool to remove metal from large castings or forgings. The machine’s length ranges from 1700 to 2000 mm, providing the necessary specifications for handling the task.
- A variable-speed reversible electric motor drives the spiral pinion, which meshes with the rack teeth on the bottom of the ram, resulting in the slotter’s ram motion resembling a planet’s. Furthermore, electrical gears regulate the feed, ensuring efficient and precise operation.
2. Precision Slotter Machine
- This equipment features a simplistic and lightweight design, with high-speed capabilities that lend themselves to producing precise surface finishes through light cuts. With the aid of specific jigs, the machinery can execute multiple identical works on a production scale.
- Additionally, the machines have a Whitworth quick return mechanism.
Merits and Demerits of Slotter Machine
- Light machine.
- A single-point cutting tool was used.
- Easy to maintain.
- Proper surface finish.
- Machine efficiency is high.
- Complex and rigid design.
- Requirement of Skilled workers.
- The material removal rate is slow.
- The power requirement is high.
- They cut internal and external Slots, Splines, and Keyways.
- They are used for internal and external gear machining.
- Internal blind hole machining.
- They are used for mild cuts.
How is the Shaper Machine different from the Slotter Machine?
- The cutting stroke in shaper machines is horizontal and slower than the return stroke. However, with slotter machines, the cutting stroke is vertical and slower than the return stroke.
- Ram holding the tool in a shaper reciprocates in a horizontal axis, whereas Ram having the device in a slotter returns in a vertical axis.
- The shaper machine specifically creates flat surfaces that are horizontal, vertical, or inclined. On the other hand, a slotter machine mainly cuts keyways, grooves, and slots of various forms, makes regular and irregular surfaces, both exterior and internal, cut internal gears, and handles enormous and awkward projects.
A slotter machine is a tool that cuts metals from a workpiece using a Whitworth quick return mechanism. It only cuts metals on the forward stroke. It explicitly makes keyways, slots, grooves, internal and exterior gear profiles, and other components.
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